6 Natural Ways to Prevent Memory Loss
We are the sum of our memories-one of the many reasons it’s so important to protect them. Bolster your brain’s defences against memory loss by adopting these healthy habits.
1. Prevent memory loss by eating a brain-healthy diet
A brain-healthy diet means no more than 30 percent fat, with little or no trans and saturated fats, plenty of foods rich in vitamins E and C and beta-carotene. Foods that fit the bill include: dark green leafy and brightly coloured vegetables, lots of fish, flaxseed oil, walnuts (and other sources rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids) and regular consumption of foods high in antioxidant flavonoids, such as tea, berries, pomegranates or pomegranate juice and dark chocolate.
2. Prevent memory loss with exercise
There is scientific evidence that exercise-whether it’s get-your-heart-pumping aerobic activities or less intense, mind-body exercise like yoga and t’ai chi-can improve cognitive ability.
In one study, researchers compared the memory function of 140 older adults who regularly practiced mind-body or cardiovascular exercises with those who didn’t get any regular exercise. Those who did both exercises outperformed all other groups, while those who did either one still had better memory and learning ability than those who didn’t exercise at all.
3. Prevent memory loss by reducing your portion sizes
You know how you feel after the Thanksgiving meal, when your brain is about as stimulated as the congealed mashed potatoes? Well, to a lesser extent, that effect occurs any time you eat too much.
4. Prevent memory loss by eating whole grains and other low-glycemic index foods
Blood sugar swings can affect memory. In an Australian study, people who ate a breakfast designed to have minimal impact on blood sugar (centred on All-Bran cereal) scored higher on tests for mental alertness than those who ate a breakfast centred on cornflakes (which raises blood sugar). Avoid sugary foods that lack fibre. Opt for a low-glycemic diet, which will help keep blood sugar levels steady.
5. Prevent memory loss by using your brain every day
Daily crossword puzzles, reading the newspaper, tackling challenging jigsaw puzzles and playing chess or bridge can all help maintain sharp mental processes.
6. Prevent memory loss by reducing your alcohol consumption
Too much alcohol can decrease your mental functioning-even when you’re not suffering from a hangover.
Ever wonder how game show champs manage to remember so much trivia? Try these 5 memory-boosting tricks from a Jeopardy! whiz.
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